War Board Games

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Emanresu, May 7, 2013.

  1. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    Is anyone else as interested as I am in board games that recreate historical battles and campaigns. I have slowly been building a collection. The most impressive games I have are Fire in the East and Scorched Earth which recreate the fighting on the Eastern Front during the second world war. The game starts on June 22, 1941 and continues through winter of 1944. It includes every German, Rumanian, Finnish, Italian, Hungarian, Slovakian, and Russian division that took place in the campaign (even including partisans, and prisoners of war raised into fighting units). The initial placement of the forces, and the arrival of reinforcements is historically accurate but the players are given almost complete operational freedom in directing their armies.

    Some of these games have been recreated as computer games, but I find spreading out the huge maps and playing that way to be much more fun. I also have the complete campaigns of Napoleon, the entire campaign in Italy from the second world war, the battle of Gettysburg, and a few others too. I usually purchase a new one every week (mostly out of print avalon hill games).

    Anyone else play these games? Anyone else prefer war games as board games as opposed to on the computer?
  2. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    Sounds like it could be real fun but I haven't played any of the games you mentioned. I do like Risk and Stratego (which I haven't played in years) and of course the ultimate board game: chess :)
    I have enjoyed strategy war games on the computer as well but when it is in real time (as opposed to turn based) I often am too slow to keep up with the mad button clicking opponent. Now that I think of it, I also can't think of a good turn based war game on the computer that I've played extensively.
  3. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    I used to love Stratego, Risk, and Chess. I haven't played Stratego or Risk in years either. I play chess from time to time, but I tend to be bested by serious players.

    There are a few things that set these historical recreations apart from games like Risk and Chess that I really like. For example in War and Peace (Avalon Hill's name for the campaigns of Napoleon) you can never be sure how far you can move your units. Each unit has a movement rating, but you can attempt forced marches, which may or may not be successful, and may result in attrition of some of your forces. Other factors that add to the tactical nature of this and similar games (such as Anzio by Avalon Hill or Fire in the East by Europa) are rules to account for the effect of terrain on combat, the fact that the defender is usually at an advantage (especially during the Napoleonic time period), and even the effects of weather and morale.

    Some of these games get a little out of hand with the complexity of the rules, but others do a fantastic job of allowing for realism while still making the game playable. For example in Scorched Earth you must keep your units in supply or they will fight poorly, and potentially disband, but the supply rules are simple. I have a game called Prelude to Disaster, also about the eastern front, but the supply rules are so complicated I don't think I'll ever play it.

    I can't really think of a good turn based computer war game either. Games like Imperialism come to mind, but the combat systems are too simplified, and the focus of the game is more on economy than warfare.
  4. Lafincoyote

    Lafincoyote Member

    I used to enjoy many of the board war games, they can give you a taste of military decision making and teach history and geography at the same time. Now I just don't have the time or space to enjoy them anymore, but manage to squeeze in a game of chess when I can. I also would like to try Nuclear Risk, a variant I found on the net that takes Risk to a new level of complexity, but retains much of the fast playing speed that seems to keep that game alive and popular even after 50+ years of existance.

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